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Publisher's Summary

Alexander Hamilton was an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who overcame all the odds to become George Washington's aide-de-camp and the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Few figures in American history are more controversial.

In this masterful work, Chernow shows how the political and economic power of America today is the result of Hamilton's willingness to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. He charts his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Monroe and Burr; his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds; his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza; and the notorious duel with Aaron Burr that led to his death in July 1804.

The book was adapted into a hugely successful Broadway musical - winner of 11 Tony awards - which opens at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London in November 2017.

©2016 Head of Zeus (P)2004 Penguin Random House LLC

Critic Reviews

"A mammoth work of research that charted the course of Hamilton's dazzling career." ( Guardian)
"An elegantly written, richly detailed account of Hamilton's tempestuous life." ( The Times)
"A brilliant recreation of the society and culture of the time: thoughtful and playful, moving and powerful." (Michael Gove)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent

Like him or not, the writing is flawless, research is comprehensive and tone is neutral enough. He’s not portrayed as a pure hero, and his character shows all the traits of a flawed but intense human.

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  • jacqueline bain
  • 01-03-18

BrilliNT

Had no idea what to expect as I like very early history but an so glad I chose this as my first foray into US history. What's remarkable man! Even amongst that group of remarkable people and events, he stands a lot taller than his height. I have changed my opinion on many of the early presidential histories I had gleaned from other stories and documentaries. I would have liked to have met him... and I can't say that about many of the people I have read about. Narration second to none. Well worth the listen

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Farniboy
  • 02-15-18

Alexander Hamilton, his name is Alexander Hamilton

Like most people in the UK I'd never heard of Alexander Hamilton until the musical of his life began wowing audiences in the US. I only had to hear the title song (which strangely reveals the whole plot) , to want to know more about this pivotal figure of the American Revoution. I'm so glad that I did, Ron Chernow tells a superb tale. From Hamilton's boyhood in the West Indies, through the events of the revolutionary war, to the politics of the early republic and finally to a New Jersey duelling ground, the book moves at a fair clip. Some of The Federalist/Republican party civil war is a little dry but its a testament to Chernow's skill as a writer (and Scott Brick's fabulous narration!) that eventually I got the gist of what was going on.

Hamilton is a brilliant if flawed subject of a book. God only knows how Manuel Lin Miranda thought that this book would make a great musical but I'm glad that he did, or I would have never heard of Hamilton and the impact that he made on the world.

Highly recommended!

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 08-09-18

An amazing life

The fact that Hamilton's life can fill 36 hours of engaging and interesting description testifies to what an important figure he was in the birth and establishment of the United States of America. He was an inspiring and talented soldier and in peacetime instrumental in shaping the financial system of the fledgling country. So it all the more surprising that, while Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin are household names, Hamilton's is not. Maybe his early death and the fact that both Adams and Jefferson hated him and went out of their way to denigrate and slander him, often with false accusations to undermine his reputation, when he was alive and that continued after his death enabled them to airbrush Hamilton's contributions out of the historical record. I must say I was surprised by the waste of time and energy expended by the politicians by their internecine conflicts.
The book is not only a biography of this important figure but also an insight into how the USA shed the dominance of the Britain, developed their own political system and started to unpick dependence on slaves as cheap labour.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 06-11-18

Great man of his era

A life to be remembered and emulated... it's a shame he dies so "young"... more people should know about this man

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 04-18-18

Excellent

This is a truly captivating and moving story and a brilliant introduction to American revolutionary history

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David W.
  • 02-09-18

exceeds the musicial

when you hear the unabridged version of this book the musical pales in comparison. its gripping from beginning to end.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom Mcmorrow
  • 04-10-18

Most enjoyable audible offering

Congratulations to all involved a really inspiring life. Biography at its best.
Excellent presentation by Scott Brick

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tommy
  • 09-17-18

A monumental biography

Ron Chernow's magnificent, monumental and lyrical biography of Alexander Hamilton is littered with great stories and wise insights. His biography of John D Rockefeller is equally good.

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  • MAGGS
  • 08-18-18

Alexander Hamilton- Enjoyable but too long

Alexander Hamilton- Enjoyable but too long
Hamilton was an exception man & left an lasting legacy to US
Politicians then as now were corrupt able.
The press again still sprouts lies & not caring who got hurt.
GREAT NARRATION

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  • Alan K
  • 08-08-18

excellent

I came to this book because of the musical as most will these days. I wanted to know more. it's given me a new passion for history. I'm Scottish and have never delved deep into US history before but I will be doing more reading/listening around this era because of this read. the author told a great story with good use of the evidence available. although it could be a biased view point the author does explore the complexity of Hamilton's character well and offers criticism it does have a balanced feel. I enjoyed the narrator's delivery too.

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  • Adam
  • 01-09-18

An almost unbelievable tale, brilliantly told.

After reading a review of the Broadway musical inspired by this mighty biography, I became an admirer of the soundtrack and resolved to read the source material at the earliest opportunity. It was some months before Chernow’s masterpiece came available on Audible and I sincerely thank those who worked to make that happen.
The book does not disappoint.
Running to some 36 hours, it is a thoroughly entertaining examination of the life, achievements and tragedy of one of the most important, and certainly the most unfairly maligned founding fathers.
Narration by Scott Brick is excellent. Most highly recommended... and be sure to listen to Hamilton: An American Musical.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristian
  • 08-13-18

Wow

Just wow. A fascinating and comprehansive, human look at one of the legendary founding fathers. Wow.

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  • Tomas
  • 06-15-18

Fantastic

A compelling narrative that sheds light on the very interesting character of Hamilton, and also gives the reader an excellent look into the founding of America. At times exiting and at others emotional, this story does great justice to it's chosen subject, by showing both his genius and his flaws and by ultimately making him feel human and almost know to the listiner.

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  • fje
  • 04-05-18

Fascinating and detailed biography of AH

Combines detailed analysis, a lot of primary evidence from letters to support his interpretations of events.
Narrator is very good, speaking eloquently with a range of expression which brings the work to life.
Probably my favourite listen in almost 3 years of audible. A long and satisfying listen.